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29 June, 2017

SNH Board approves new deer management approach

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) today considered proposals to implement a stronger approach to deer management in light of damage to fragile habitats and the consequences of vehicle collisions on our roads.

The proposals considered are in direct response to a recent review concluded by the Environment Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee of the Scottish Parliament on deer management in Scotland. In some areas of Scotland, deer populations are sufficiently large that deer affect forest re-growth and cause damage to important natural heritage sites. Reducing deer numbers is an effective way to protect trees, wildlife and crops in some parts of Scotland, as well as to reduce road accidents.

Measures agreed by SNH include further use of statutory powers in support of collaborative deer management. This will see an increased pace of change, combining continued support for good deer management practice with a greater willingness to use regulation where required. These measures are designed to lend further help and support to those responsible for managing Deer populations across Scotland to sustainable levels.

Mike Cantlay, SNH Chairman said “Our objective will always be to work with land managers to get the best possible outcomes for nature and people.”


Media queries - contact SNH media & public relations officer Vicki Mowat on 0131 316 2659 or or the SNH Inverness press office on 01463 725022.

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Notes to editors

For more information on deer management, including legislative tools available for deer management, see the Code of Practice on Deer Management at

Where necessary, SNH will also use recently established powers to require some deer managers to produce deer management plans, and ramp up support for deer management in lowland Scotland, including initiating a specialist group to provide advice and solutions.

In 2016, there were eight voluntary control agreements covering over 237,000 hectares and involving nearly 50 properties across Scotland. Since October, three of these agreements have satisfactorily concluded.

The SNH Board decision follows a comprehensive deer review by SNH late last year, which includes an assessment of the progress that deer management groups have made over the last few years. However, it also concludes that in some places deer continue to have a negative impact on biodiversity.

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help people understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

Tha Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba na buidheann comhairleachaidh dhan riaghaltas a thaobh nàdair agus seallaidhean-tìre air feadh Alba. 'S e an dleastanas a th' againn cuideachadh a thoirt do dhaoine gus tuigse, luach agus tlachd fhaighinn bho nàdar na h-Alba, an-dràsta agus san àm ri teachd. Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh, tadhail air  no lean sinn air Twitter aig